If you’re traveling to Walt Disney World during the holidays you’ll notice a few things, that may have you wondering when the “vacation” part of your vacation will start. That’s where a Disney Resort Holiday Decorations Tour comes in. This time of year has more crowds, more families, more fights, more everything. You will need to get away. We often take time to escape the parks for a meal, tea or just to get away from the crowds. If you’re looking for a fun way to add a little more relaxation to your vacation, try our Disney Resort Crawl for the holidays.
Disney Resort Holiday Decorations
If you’re visiting Walt Disney World for the holidays, know that Disney Resort Holiday Decorations are put up around the 3rd week of November. This coincides with Epcot’s International Festival of Holidays. And since this timeline is the same every year if you’re planning a resort decoration crawl, plan it before the crowds arrive.
Visiting the Walt Disney World Resorts During Christmas
One of our favorite ways to take a break from the parks is visiting the Disney Resorts to check out all the holiday decorations. Here are a few of the easiest ways to see the Disney Resorts during the holidays. We’ll break this up by locations so you can decide which works for you throughout your trip.
- Monorail Resorts – From Magic Kingdom
- Boardwalk Resorts – From EPCOT
- Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness Campgrounds
- Animal Kingdom Lodge
Disney Monorail Resort Crawl
The easiest way to do the Monorail Resort Crawl if you’re not staying at one of these resorts is simply to head to Magic Kingdom. From the entrance you can board the Resort Monorail and simply stop at each stop along the way. You can explore the restaurants, gift shops, and all the lobbies will have decorations galore.
Contemporary Resort | Cinderella Christmas Gingerbread Castle
Disney’s Contemporary Resort has an annual tradition of setting up a themed gingerbread house right behind the Fantasia shop. Next to the display you’ll find a sign withe fun facts and how many hidden mickeys you can hunt for. Disney Pro Tip: The hidden mickeys on all the holiday decorations seem to be tiny gold mickey head stickers or actually carved into the gingerbread. You’ll also find a small station where you can purchase little gingerbread snacks and other treats to hold you over until your next stop.
The Polynesian Resort and Villas | Tree and Holiday Decorations
The Polynesian features an island inspired Christmas tree near the gift shop on the first floor. As you can see this is not a two story tree, but still quite beautiful, and matches the decor around the rest of the resort.
Grand Floridian Resort | Gingerbread House and Christmas Tree
The Grand Floridian Resort really embraces the holidays with a floor to ceiling tree and a life sized gingerbread house that takes 2 months to put together. You can typically plan to see the gingerbread house by the second week of November, the tree, however doesn’t make its debut until Thanksgiving week along with the other resort decorations. The gingerbread house is home to a very small gingerbread shop which is inside the gingerbread house, staffed by two workers. Keep an eye out for the hidden mickeys and the smoke billowing out of the chimney. You can buy a gingerbread shingle here for 9 dollars, big enough for two to share. The tree is decorated with swans and bird cages and all things gold and pink.
The Disney Boardwalk Resort Crawl
If you’re not just looping back to Magic Kingdom for the day, you can head for the second part of our Disney Resort Holiday Decorations Resort Crawl. You can also just plan for this part of your crawl during a day you are at EPCOT. Once at Epcot, you can walk back to the International Gateway in the World Showcase. This brings you to the Disney Boardwalk. Here you will find The Boardwalk Inn and The Beach and Yacht Club.
The Boardwalk Inn | Boardwalk Gingerbread Village
The Boardwalk Inn is attached to Epcot World Showcase and features a mini gingerbread house village featuring the storefronts on the Boardwalk. Inside this display you’ll see Mickey cooking up a storm. A small table with gingerbread snacks for sale sits right across from the display in the main section of the inn. If you’re looking a lobby to lounge in and revel in the season, you can find that at Boardwalk Inn.
The Beach Club | Disney Boardwalk Epcot
The Disney Boardwalk has a long tradition of Gingerbread decorations. Check out our post featuring 20 years of Disney Gingerbread tradition at The Beach Club. Next on the list, you can head here by just following the Boardwalk around the lake. Typically presenting a carousel each year, this O’hana inspired carousel features Lilo and Stitch. You’ll notice the first hidden mickey is easy to find on the ingredients podium. The carousel is set right in the middle of the lobby area and the first thing you see when you enter the resort.
Wilderness Lodge and Fort Wilderness at Christmas Crawl
To head to the wilderness for a little Christmas all you need is a boat ride from the Magic Kingdom Dock. You can also just head straight to Wilderness Lodge via bus if you would rather. However, during the holidays, we try to avoid the crazy bus situation at Disney World.
The Wilderness Lodge | Gingerbread Log Cabin and Tree
Disney’s Wilderness Lodge is absolutely gorgeous on any normal day, so add a 4 story tree to the lobby, and it quickly becomes our favorite place to be and an absolute must-see tree during the holidays. Disney Pro Tip: Plan for a lunch at Roaring Fork or a meal at Whispering Canyon Cafe or Geyser Point Bar and Grill to make the visit a little more substantial. The tree is decorated in native american ornaments, all things bear, moose, camping, and anything great outdoors.
Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort at Christmas | Decorated Camping Loops
A recent discovery, Fort Wilderness Campgrounds may soon become our favorite home away home. During the holidays all the campers, Rv’s and Cabins get spruced for the season. You can walk the 21 loops or rent a golf cart and make a day of it. Grab dinner at Trails End, and then head out as it gets dark to see the lights all over this resort. Guests even bring blow up decorations too.
Animal Kingdom Lodge | Jambo House Tree
Definitely one of our favorite resorts, Animal Kingdom Lodge dresses up for the holidays like nothing you’ve seen. There’s a large tree, decorated with handicrafts, and animal images. Able to be admired while making ornament crafts in the lounge and listening to seasonal music. If you venture down to Kidani Village you’ll see the smaller tree featured at the top of this post, and get the chance to hear carolers in the evenings in the lobby. This resort is such a great escape from the park crowds and seeing it decorated to the nines was a nice treat. Disney Pro Tip: If you venture to the 5th floor you can get access to the bridge and a better view of the tree.
Disney Resorts Holiday Decorations
While these resorts are definitely favorites for Disney Resorts Holiday Decorations, you can also catch decorations at every Disney resort. Whether you’re trying to pack in all the things or just have a fun filled family Christmas at Disney, we definitely recommend taking a tiny break to see some of the resorts we share here. The downtime will probably be much needed. Enjoy!